THE SERPENT IN PARADISE HAS HIS DAY IN COURT
Genesis 3:14-15. November 18, 2009. Rivers of Joy Baptist Church, Minford Ohio.
Charles E. Whisnant, Pastor and Teacher and Student of the Word.
I know you say, “Why should we even study about the devil. After all, there is enough trouble in life. Let’s just leave him alone.” I know, but Satan can be found from Genesis to Revelation.
God has held court for Adam and Eve and now we come to the serpent. Notice God does not ask the serpent any question. Why? God does not offer the devil any opportunity to repent.
1A Irwin Lutzer’s book: The Serpent of Paradise:
1B The contractor that experienced the law of unintended consequences.
1C The outcomes that are not (or not limited to) the results originally intended by a particular action. The unintended results may be foreseen or unforeseen, but they should be the logical or likely result of the action.
2A Those who felt the law of unintended consequences
1B Lucifer had no thought of what would be set in motion over his rebellion in heaven.
2B Adam and Eve didn’t either have any idea of what the effect would be when they yielded to the temptation.
3A The condensed course in Satanology. Genesis 3:14-15
· Satanology or the doctrine of Satan is properly a part of Angelology since Satan is a fallen angel. It is that part that deals specifically with the ruler of the fallen angels or demons (Matt. 25:42; Rev. 12:7-9). The study of the rest of his hideous kingdom, the fallen angels or demons, is sometimes called Demonology. The career of Satan, which extends from the dateless past, before man’s creation (Job 38:7), to eternity future, is inclusive in the Bible and forms a major and an important doctrine of the Word of God.
4A Outline of chapter three
· 3:1-7 The Fall.
3:8-13 The Depravity of Man.
· Total depravity entails total inability, that is, the state of not having it in oneself to respond to God and his Word in a sincere and wholehearted way (John 6:44; Rom. 8:7-8). Paul calls this unresponsiveness of the fallen heart a state of death (Eph. 2:1, 5; Col. 2:13), and the Westminster Confession says: "Man by his fall into a state of sin, hath wholly lost all ability of will to any spiritual good accompanying salvation; so as a natural man, being altogether averse from that good, and dead in sin, is not able by his own strength to convert himself, or to prepare himself thereunto" (IX. 3).
· 3:14-15 The Curse.
5A PARADISE WAS LOST WHEN MAN SINNED.
1B There are natural consequences to sin in life. There are processes we set in motion by our sin. It’s the Galatians 6 law, the law of sowing and reaping. You plant a certain behavior, you will reap a certain kind of process that comes out of that behavior.
2B But this law is not what we are dealing with in Genesis 3.
6A Genesis 3:14-15 is far greater. It is the reality of divine judgment. This is a sentence by the Divine Judge.
· Violated God’s law
· Violated God’s nature
· Violated God’s glory
· Violated Adam and Eve’s heart
· And in a some measure gave ground to the enemy Satan.
8A The effects of sin did not and does not threaten God’s sovereignty.
1B Only changes the example in which that sovereignty operates. And you see this in the curses.
2B God is no less sovereign in a fallen world than HE was in a unfallen world.
3B God is not a casualty of Satan. And never will be. Which can be proven by the curse of the serpent and Satan.
NOW IN THE CURSE THERE ARE TWO THINGS TO CONSIDER.
1 The curse of the natural serpent
2 The curse of the supernatural Satan
Now I must say that I have a better understanding of why the serpent could have been an animal that was controlled by Satan himself. Footnote by Charles E. Whisnant.
I. God cursed the serpent. Why?
· The animal has no rational mind. No sense of sin. Simply used by Lucifer.
II. The curse of the animal serves a purpose.
III. The serpent alone is cursed. While all animals feel the effect of the fall.
a. i.e. will decay, age, and get diseases and will die.
b. Romans 8:20-22.
c. Jeremiah 12:4
IV. What is the point of cursing a non-rational creature?
a. The cursing of the serpent turned it into a symbol,
b. And into a constant reminder of the dilapidation (ruin) of Satan.
c. And Satan was really synonymous with the serpent.
i. Revelation 12:9 20:2
NOW WHAT WAS IT THAT SATAN WANTED?
· He wants to exalt himself again, he wants to become the sovereign over man. So he leads Adam and Eve into successful temptation and then imagines himself to be the sovereign now.
· Satan caused the fall of Adam and Eve, now they are under Satan’s control. How?
o Hebrews 2:14. He holds over them the “fear of death.” All their lives. He is the god of this age, the ruler of this world.
o A brief time here he is a kind of sovereign over a fallen humanity.
o Then God throws him down again. Vs. 14. “on your belly shall you go.” Crawl.
§ Every time you see a snake slithering and crawling around, it is a sign or a symbol of the humiliation of Satan.
· CRAWL ON ITS BELLY…. Leviticus 11:42.
o Well, not that they eat dust. They just live in it.
o “to lick the dust.” Which is to say “you are defeated.”
o Psalms 72:9, Isaiah 4:23, Micah 7:15-17, Isaiah 14:29
§ The serpent crawls on the ground as an unvarying symbol of a degraded and defeated Satan.
· “all the days of your life.”
o The curse will never be removed. Even in the Millennium. Isaiah 65:25.
o They will continue to be a symbol of the defeat of the devil.